SPG Transfer Partners

SPG points, AKA Starwood Preferred Guest points, are transferable to Marriott, Amtrak, and a huge selection of airline partners. Below you’ll find a complete list of SPG transfer partners as well as quick tips for best uses.

Tips

Transfer in 20K increments, up to 60K per day: When transferring points to airline programs, you’ll get the most value by transferring multiples of 20,000 points.  When you transfer 20,000 points, SPG automatically adds 5,000 additional miles to the transfer.  For example, 20,000 points transferred to Alaska Airlines becomes 25,000 Alaska miles.  By transferring in this way, SPG gives you a 1 to 1.25 transfer ratio to airline programs.  SPG limits you to just under 80K points in transfers per day, so if you want to transfer 80K or more you should spread out your transfers over multiple days.

Don’t transfer yet: Don’t transfer points until high value awards are available and you are ready to book them.  Transfers are one-way only.  SPG points are valuable for their flexibility and for hotel stays. Once you transfer, you are locked into a single program that may or may not have awards available.

Watch for hotel to airline transfer bonuses:  Airlines occasionally offer bonuses when you transfer points from hotel programs.  Since SPG is a hotel program it usually qualifies.  In this way you can get both SPGs 20K to 25K standard bonus plus the airline’s bonus on top.

Move points to household member’s SPG account: You can move points to a household member’s SPG account for free.  This is a great way to build up enough points for a valuable award.  Details can be found here.

Don’t forget that SPG points can be valuable when used directly: SPG offers many ways to use SPG points: Free night awards, Cash & Points awards, 5th night free awards, and Nights & Flights (get both a free stay and airline miles). Details can be found here: Getting to Know SPG Starpoints: Using Points for Stays.

Current Transfer Bonuses

If there are any current transfer bonuses from hotel programs including SPG and/or Marriott, details will appear here:

Transfer Bonus DetailsEnd Date
35% bonus for hotel transfers to British Airways Avios. SPG is not included, but you can transfer SPG -> 3X Marriott -> Marriott Travel Package --> British Airways10/31/17
30% bonus for hotel transfers to United
This time around, the bonus has a 25K mile cap, two chains are offering even more than a 30% bonus.
11/30/17

The Secret Weapon: Marriott and Beyond

By linking your SPG and Marriott Rewards accounts you can freely move points between the two programs at a favorable ratio for those with SPG points.  SPG points transfer to Marriott 1 to 3.  1,000 SPG points become 3,000 Marriott Rewards points.  This is great because it makes nearly all Marriott reward options inexpensive in terms of SPG points.

Marriott’s free night awards range in price from 6,000 to 45,000 points per night:

Thanks to the 1 to 3 conversion ratio, the number of SPG points required range from 2,000 to 15,000 SPG points per night.  Like Starwood, Marriott offers 5th Night Free awards, so the per night cost of five night stays are even cheaper.

Even more compelling are Marriott Travel Packages.  Like SPG Nights & Flights, Marriott Travel packages offer free nights plus airline miles in exchange for Marriott points.  While details vary by package, In general the best deal is to spend 270,000 Marriott Rewards points (90,000 SPG points) to get 120,000 miles plus a 7 night certificate for a category 1-5 hotel.  Ironically, even if you throw away the 7 night certificate, the transfer ratio to airline miles is better than transferring directly from SPG to airline miles.

More details about maximizing value from the Marriott / SPG relationship can be found here: Marriott SPG Complete Guide to Sweet Opportunities.

Amtrak

SPG points transfer 1 to 1 to Amtrak.  Unlike transfers to airlines, SPG does not offer a 5,000 point bonus when you transfer 20,000 points.  Amtrak’s award prices are tied to ticket prices.  They offer value up to 2.9 cents per point compared to their standard rates.  You will get less value, though, if you book Acela trains or if you could have booked discounted rates.  They also sometimes mysteriously increase the award price for some routes without making it at all obvious that they’ve done so.

Caveats aside, point transfers to Amtrak do offer a way to get up to 2.9 cents per point value from SPG points.  That’s far from amazing value, but it’s still very good.

Best SPG Airline Transfer Partners

The following airline transfer partners (not counting indirect transfers through Marriott) represent the best potential value in my opinion.  I’ve added a thumbs up icon to the partners that I consider best of the best.

Airline
Transfer Ratio
Best Uses
Aeroplan/Air Canada 20K to 25K Redeem for Star Alliance flights. Multiple stopovers allowed on international flights. Reasonable award prices to Europe for business and first class.
Air France KLM Flying Blue 20K to 25K Monthly Air France Promo Awards often represent very good value. Air France also has a very generous definition of “Europe” (includes Israel for example)
Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
20K to 25K Alaska Airlines has a number of great partners and offers reasonable award prices for most of them.  Unlike most other programs, Alaska allows stop-overs one one-way awards.  This makes it possible to stretch award value much further.  Travel Codex offers an excellent overview to booking Alaska Airlines awards here.
All Nippon Airways (ANA) Mileage Club
20K to 25K Redeem for Star Alliance flights. Multiple stopovers allowed.  Very good award prices for round-the-world travel.
Asiana Airlines 20K to 25K Redeem only 50K miles (40K SPG) for one-way first class Star Alliance awards between US and Europe!  Beware very high fuel surcharges when flying airlines such as Lufthansa.
British Airways Executive Club (also Iberia Plus) 20K to 25K While flights on British Airways itself often incur outrageously high fuel surcharges, many BA partners charge low or no fuel surcharges.  Great value can be had in redeeming BA points for short distance flights.  You can also transfer BA points to other Avios programs: Avios.com, Iberia, and Aer Lingus.
Delta Air Lines SkyMiles 20K to 25K Award flights to Canada are often a great deal. Partner awards often have terrific availability, but you may pay more miles than with other programs.
Japan Airlines (JAL) Mileage Bank 20K to 25K JAL has a distance based partner award chart.  Depending upon the length of the flights, this can lead to great award prices on partners such as Emirates and Korean Air.
Korean Air Skypass 20K to 25K Korean Air is known for having top notch business and first class on their international flights. Plus, first class tends to be wide open for awards. Korean is also a fantastic program for booking certain partner awards. For example, it is possible to book Delta flights from the US mainland to Hawaii for only 25,000 points round trip in coach or 45,000 points in first class.
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 20K to 25K Use to book Singapore Airlines First Class awards (generally reserved for their own members) or for Star Alliance awards. Very low change fees and no close-in booking fees make this a very good program for booking United Airlines flights.
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 20K to 25K Virgin Atlantic miles can be usefully thought of as a way to get a discount off Virgin Atlantic flights (high fuel surcharges make the flights far from free), but there are some better uses.  Use miles to upgrade paid flights or to fly partner airlines.  A fantastic use is to fly ANA in business or first class thanks to Virgin’s generous ANA partner award chart.  Or, if you can find saver level Delta awards for nonstop international travel, you can often book through Virgin Atlantic far cheaper than with Delta directly.

The Other Transfer Partners

Here are the transfer partners that didn’t make my “best of” list, above.  Note that many of these are still worth considering under certain circumstances.

Airline Program
Transfer Ratio
AeroMexico 20K to 25K
(Note that Membership Rewards offers a better transfer ratio)
Aegean Miles+Bonus  20K to 25K
Air Berlin
20K to 25K
Air China Companion 20K to 25K
Air New Zealand & Air Points 20K to 384 (65 to 1 + 5K SPG bonus)
Alitalia MilleMiglia 20K to 25K
American Airlines 20K to 25K
Avianca LifeMiles 20K to 25K
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles 20K to 25K
China Eastern Airlines 20K to 25K
China Southern Airlines’ Sky Pearl Club  20K to 25K
Emirates Skywards  20K to 25K
Etihad Airways  20K to 25K
Gol Smiles 20K to 25K
Hainan Airlines 20K to 25K
Hawaiian Airlines 20K to 25K
LAN Airlines LANPASS Kms 20K to 37,500 (1 to 1.5 + 5K SPG bonus)
Lufthansa Miles and More 20K to 25K
Qatar Airways 20K to 25K
Saudi Arabian Airlines Alfursan 20K to 25K
Thai Airways International Royal Orchid Plus 20K to 25K
United MileagePlus  25K to 12,500 (2 to 1 + 5K SPG bonus)
Virgin Australia Velocity 20K to 25K

Indirect Transfer Partners

In many cases it is possible to transfer to an airline or hotel program in order to then transfer from that program to another program.  In some cases this can be a great deal.  In other cases it’s just cool to think about the possibilities even though the value may be poor (such as transferring indirectly to Hilton at a 1 to 2 ratio)

Transfer First To
Then To
Transfer Ratio Details
Marriott United 90K to 132K
(1 to 1.47)
Transfer 90,000 SPG to 270,000 Marriott points. Use points to purchase Category 1-5 7 Night United Package offering 132,000 United miles.
Marriott AeroMexico, Air Canada, Alaska, American, BA, Copa, Delta, Frontier, GOL, Hawaiian, Iberia, Southwest, Virgin Atlantic 90K to 120K
(1 to 1.33)
Transfer 90,000 SPG to 270,000 Marriott points. Use points to purchase Category 1-5 7 Night Package offering 120,000 miles.
Virgin Atlantic IHG 60K to 100K
(1 to 1.67)
Transfer 60K SPG to 75K Virgin Atlantic. Convert Virgin Atlantic miles 1 to 1 to IHG.  Points transferred to IHG are tier qualifying points. IHG Spire status requires 75,000 tier qualifying points.  You can then choose 25,000 points as your Choice Benefit.
Marriott / Virgin Atlantic Hilton 90K to 180K
(1 to 2)
Transfer 90,000 SPG to 270,000 Marriott points. Use points to purchase Category 1-5 7 Night Package offering 120,000 Virgin Atlantic miles.  Convert Virgin Atlantic miles 1 to 1.5 to Hilton.  Note: I do not recommend this.
Amtrak Choice 1 to 3 Transfer SPG 1 to 1 to Amtrak.  Transfer Amtrak to Choice 1 to 3.  Requires Amtrak elite status or high Amtrak credit card spend.

See Also

Comments

  1. Don’t forget transfer bonuses that come around time to time from airline programs that can be stacked with this. Like the current 35% Aeroplan bonus. 90k SPG points becomes 162,000 Aeroplan miles plus the 7 night certificate with Marriott nights and flights.

  2. Doesn’t Asiana offer the lowest number of points for Lufthansa first class? Europe to NA for 50k (40k SPG points with the bonus) one way.

  3. How do I transfe 30,000 SPG points to my daughter? Alternatively can I transfer them to her airlines reward account?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *